Queenstown’s ‘Lady of the Lake’, the TSS Earnslaw, reached an impressive 107-year-old milestone on the 18th of October. During the steamship’s 1912 maiden voyage passengers probably never imagined that she would still be cruising across Queenstown’s Lake Wakatipu more than a century later.

Launched in the same year as the Titanic, the TSS Earnslaw is an integral part of Queenstown’s pioneering history, providing an essential link between the isolated farming communities along the lake and the outside world. At 48 metres long, she was the biggest boat on the lake and carried passengers, sheep, cattle, mail and supplies.


Today, she is the only hand fired steamship in operation in the southern hemisphere, making her one of the most unique experiences in the world. On board, delicious food and beverages are available at the Promenade Café and Bar, and you can also join a sing-along with the pianist. Take a stroll around the vessel and you’ll find a collection of historical photos to view in the fo’c’sle mini museum or visit the engine room to watch the giant steam engines at work.


The leisurely 90-minute return cruise across Lake Wakatipu showcases some of Queenstown’s spectacular alpine scenery while offering you plenty of time to explore this piece of Queenstown’s living history. Cruises depart regularly every day and you can choose a return cruise across , or combine it with a visit to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a guided farm tour, horse trek, independent cycling, gourmet barbecue lunch or dinner.

Book your cruise on the TSS Earnslaw at realjourneys.co.nz